Hope Valley Outdoors open, used gear sale continues

Deep snow

Snow. Lots of it.

What do you do with all that snow? If you’re Joyce Coker, owner of Hope Valley Outdoors, you stay open. The business, in the Yurt at Pickett’s Junction, is up to it’s ears in snow, and the xc skiing is about as good as it gets.

Coker is also continuing her annual used gear sale. Keep in mind that this is gently used gear. Coker’s xc gear–skis, boots, poles–is top of the line for kicking and gliding, perfect for the Hope Valley area. Her hours run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m every day.

Her business offers xc ski lessons, tours, and rental gear for all ages. Joyce is a very experienced back country skier. Her focus is on traditional xc skiing–kicking and gliding. She can also take you to the steeper areas and put your turning skills good use.

If you are a beginner she’ll show you how to get started and stay upright. Anyone who is in the intermediate to advanced categories will enjoy and benefit from taking a lesson or two from her, which will lead to improved skills on the skinny skis, no matter how long you’ve been at it.

If you simply need to rent the gear, then head out, her knowledge of Hope Valley will come in handy. Coker will match your skills to the varied terrain in Hope Valley so that your day will be spent skiing in areas that are appropriate for your skill level.

Right now the Yurt is surrounded by 4 to 6 feet of snow. With another couple of storms coming in, the snow will simply get a bit deeper. It also means that you’ll find that putting your xc gear on the snow will be a memorable experience. As you head west on SR 88 from the Yurt, the snow depths pile up, rather noticeably.

Take advantage to this seasons snow. Get some of the used gear from Joyce, ski on fantastic snow, take a lesson or two. It’s stunning up there.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, skiing, snow

Season Passes around Tahoe

Read to ski

Groomed and ready at SAT Photo courtesy of Thea Hardy, SAT PR

It’s that time of year when season pass prices hit the ski market around Tahoe. These prices are most often the most economical you’ll see. It’s time to prove you’re an optimist about next season’s snowfall. You’ll be in the group who absolutely knows it’s going to be worth that season pass.

If you ski four times you’ll pay for the pass in most cases. From your fifth trip to the lifts to the end of the season, you’ll be skiing and riding for free.

Here’s a list of the resorts in the Tahoe area, plus Bear Valley, their phone numbers, website links, and details on the various versions of a season pass for the 2017-2018 ski season. All of the rates listed below will go up, with some of the passes offered on a limited basis. Check the websites for full information regarding prices.

SIERRA-AT- TAHOE www.sierraattahoe.com / (530) 659-747

Certified Unserious Unlimited Season Pass

Adults $329 for, Young Adults (13-22) $279 or College Students (proof of 6 fall 2017 credits), Child (5-12) or Super Seniors (70+) $139

Unrestricted access to the mountain seven days a week, all season long, with no restrictions the entire 2017/18 season. No blackout dates on powder days, holidays or weekends when other passholders may get shutout. Ski or ride at Sierra for free the rest of the 2016/17 season.

Also: Skiing/riding for free at other resorts through the Powder Alliance for the 2017/18 season. Made up of the greatest powder stashes in the West, the Powder Alliance includes three days of FREE skiing/riding at 13 other mountains including Crested Butte, Stevens Pass, Timberline, Schweitzer, China Peak, Mountain High, Arizona Snowbowl, Mt. Hood Skibowl, Angel Fire Resort, Bridger Bowl, Whitewater and Silverstar in BC, Canada, plus Kiroro Resort in Hokkaido, Japan.

Sierra Resort Value Pass: $279 : The Sierra-at-Tahoe Value Pass is perfect for locals who ski midweek and like to  have the mountain to themselves. The Sierra Value Pass is valid Sunday through Friday excluding blackout dates: 2017/18 Blackout Dates: December 26-31, 2017, January 13-14, 2018, February 17-18, 2018.

KIRKWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT www.kirkwood.com / (209) 258-6000

Kirkwood’s season passes range from the:

EpicAdults $859 and Child $449, (which gives you unlimited skiing at Kirkwood and at these other resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Stowe, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Perisher and Arapahoe Basin, plus access to 30 European resorts across Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland), to the:

Kirkwood Pass: (unlimited skiing at Kirkwood)   Adults $549, $439 teen and senior (65+) and $279 child and through 7 more categories.

The last is the :College Pass: $489.

Most come with access to other resorts, buddy tickets and other goodies. You’ll have to go to their site to take a look at their extensive offerings.

HEAVENLY MOUNTAIN RESORT www.skiheavenly.com / (775) 586-7000

Heavenly is in the same group at Kirkwood. The season passes here also span 8 categories.

Epic Pass: Adults $859and $449 child, with the same access to the list of resorts at Kirkwood, to the unlimited

Tahoe Local PassAdults $549,  Teen $439,  Child $279, to the

College Pass at $489 or $369. Go to their website to see all their extensive offerings. Each pass has other goodies attached to it.

HOMEWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT www.skihomewood.com / (530) 525-2900/ (530) 584-6800

Homewood’s unlimited: Adults $409, Teen $329, Junior $159, Senior (62-69) $269, and Super Senior (70+) $219

College Pass (unlimited): $259

Family Pass (unlimited): (2 adults, 2 teens or child) $1059. Children to age 4 ski free.

Perks include 5 discounted friends and family tickets (30% off) plus 10% off food, beverages, rentals, demos and retail. There’s also access to Red Lodge Mountain (unlimited) and Whitefish (5 days) (Montana), Diamond Peak, Brundage Mountain (5 days) (Idaho) ½ price at Alta (Utah)

GRANLIBAKKEN RESORT www.granlibakken.com /(530) 581-7533 / (530) 583-4242  **These are their normal prices throughout the season. They do not offer season passes. Granlibakken rates are Adults $30, $35 Holiday, $16 half-day, Child (12 and under) $20 full day, $25 holiday, $10 half-day.

ALPINE MEADOWS www.skialpine.com / (530) 581-8374  SQUAW VALLEY www.squaw.com / (530) 452-4335  Season passes are the same for both resorts.

Gold (unlimited): Adults (19-64) $869, Young  Adults (13-18) $719, Child (5-12) $389, Senior (65-75) $719 and Super Senior (76+) $389.

Silver(10 blackout dates–December 26 – 31, 2017; January 13-14, 2018; February 17 – 18, 2018):  Adults (19-64) $659,Young Adults (13-18) $489, Child (5-12) $299, Senior (65-75) $489 and Super Senior (76+) $299.

Bronze (Valid Monday-Friday; not valid on any Saturdays or Sundays and December 26 – 31, 2017; January 13-14, 2018; February 17 – 18, 2018):Adults (19-64) $499, Young Adults (13-18) $409, Senior (65-75) $409.

College: unlimited $469

6 discounted friends and family lift tickets for all pass types, 10% off at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows owned food and beverage locations. There’s more. Check out their website for full details.

NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA www.northstarcalifornia.com / (530) 562-1330/ (530) 562-2267

Season passes are the same as Kirkwood’s, with the addition of the Tahoe Value College, $369:  Ski 7 days a week at Heavenly and 6 days a week at Northstar and Kirkwood. Restrictions: Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood blackouts 11/24/17-11/25/17, 12/26-12/31, 1/13/2018, 1/13/18-2/18/18, plus all Saturdays at Northstar and Kirkwood.

Other perks include buddy tickets, ski with a friend, discounts at other resorts.

DIAMOND PEAK www.diamondpeak.com /(775) 831-1177

Diamond Peak passes: Adults (24-64, unlimited) $379; mid-week $279, Youth (13-23)/ College: $219; mid-week $179, Child (7-12)/Senior (65-69) $159; mid-week $139 Super Senior (70-79) $139; mid-week $119; 6 and under, 80+, Free all the time.

Discounted bring-a-friend tickets, 4 free bonus non-holiday lift tickets at select partner resorts including: Homewood Mountain Resort, Red Lodge Mountain, Bogus Basin and more partners TBD. Check the website for full details.

Mt. ROSE SKI TAHOE www.skirose.com / 800-SKIROSE/ (775) 849-0704

Season passes at the Rose:  Adults (24+, unlimited) $449; Young Adults (16-23) $349, Child $199.

Mid-week at the Rose: MON – FRI Not Valid Dec 25-29, Jan 15, Feb 19. Call for pricing.

TAHOE DONNER XC www.skitahoedonner.com / (530) 587-9484  

Season passes:  Adults (18-59, unlimited) $309; Junior (13-17) $204; Child (7-12) $159, Senior (60-69) $164, Super Senior (70+) Free.

BOREAL MOUNTAIN RESORT www.rideboreal.com / (530) 426-3666  

Visit their website for details. 2017-2018 season pass prices are not posted yet.

SODA SPRINGS WINTER RESORT www.skisodasprings.com / (530) 426-3901

Adults (24-59): $229; Young  Adults (18-23) $169; Teen (13-17) $169; Child (5-12) $129; Mini (4 and under) $29;

Senior (60+) $49. All prices are unlimited access to Soda Springs.

ROYAL GORGE XC  www.royalgorge.com / (530) 426-3871 Cross country heaven!  

Adults (23-64) $309; Young  Adults (13-22 ) $289; Senior (65-74) $289; Child (0-12) Free Daily Pass (one time $25 processing fee applied to receive season pass media–the actual pass); Super Senior (75+) Free Daily Pass (one time $25 processing fee applied to receive season pass media–the actual pass). For complete details visit the website.

SUGAR BOWL SKI RESORT www.sugarbowl.com / (530) 426-1111

Season passes, with perks: Child (5 and under) $45 (also gives access to xc skiing at Royal Gorge).

Adults (23-64,unrestricted) $689, Young Adults (13-22) $479, Senior (65-74) $479, Child (6-12) and Super Senior (75+) $299

Slightly Restricted (blackout dates: 12/26/17-1/1/18, 1/13-14/18 (Sat/Sun of MLK, 2/17-18/18 (Sat/Sun of Presidents Day Weekend.):

Adults $479, Young Adults $359, Senior (65-74) $359

Mid-Week (Valid Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, blackout dates 12/26-29/2017, 1/1/2018)

Adults (23-64) $299, Young Adults (13-22, unrestricted) $269, Senior (65-74) $269

Check their website for additional cost to season pass for xc skiing at Royal Gorge for all other ages, plus pass perks)

DONNER SKI RANCH www.donnerskiranch.com / (530) 426-3635

As they say on their website: “Low lift ticket prices every day with no variable pricing, and no surprises”

Adults (18-69) $299, Teen (13-17) $249, Child (6-12)$149, Young Child (0-6), Senior (70+) $199

Bear Valley www.bearvalley.com / (209)753-2301 Peaks Pass and Polar Pass both offer unrestricted access to lifts for the spring of 2017 and the entire 2017/18 season. See their website for complete information about perks.

Peaks: Adults (23-64) $599, Youth (14-22) $499, Child (6-13) $329, Kinder (5 and under) $89, Senior (65-69) $329, Super Senior (70+) $89

Polar: Adults (23-64) $449, Youth (14-22) $339, Child (6-13) $259, Kinder (5 and under) $79, Senior (65-69) $259, Super Senior (70+) $79

College Pass: (College students taking a minimum of 12 credit hours at the time of pass pick-up. Please bring a transcript in order to pick up.): $219

Military Pass: (Active duty US military members. Please bring an active military ID in order to pick up.): $219

Posted in families, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Avalanche condtions

Know before you go.

Good gear, stay warm, always check avalanche conditions
photo/J Ferris

Anyone who ventures into the snowy back county on a regular basis knows that all snow is different. Each day is different. They also know that avalanche conditions vary from day to day and place to place. It’s the reason they check the Sierra Avalanche Center website before they head out there. Snow in the mountains means avalanches are possible, always.

This year the snow in this part of the Sierra is very deep. Over 50 feet has fallen on the highest parts of the high country since the snow started falling last November. Ski resorts are reporting around that much at their summits. The storms have come in on a regular basis, and so have the avalanches. It’s just plain nuts to ignore the conditions while skiing or riding in the back country.

About two weeks ago a skier on Mt. Tallac heading down The Cross triggered an avalanche that took him 800 feet down slope. According to the Sierra Avalanche Center “A skier triggered avalanche was reported at the trailhead of Mt. Tallac this afternoon.  The avalanche occurred in The Cross, a steep couloir off of the main summit of Mt. Tallac.  The avalanche occurred at 12:30pm.  The main entrance into the Cross had been skied by approximately 8 people at around 11am with some minor loose wet activity observed.  At 12:30pm, a group of 2 skiers went to the top to descend the skiers left entrance, on an east aspect.  As the first skier made several turns into the slope, the slope released a slab avalanche.  The skier was carried approximately 800′ downslope past trees and over rocks with the avalanche debris continuing to run downslope further. Injuries were reported with a broken ski and lost equipment.”

The skier survived, at least as of this writing. He’s lucky. Survival rates aren’t good at all for those caught in avalanches. It’s important to understand that avalanches are largely unpredictable, even with the best and most professional observations of the snow conditions. They aren’t controllable either. Once they start, they simply roar down slope till they run out of energy, mostly taking out anything in their path.

Know before you go, always. Stay safe in this year’s wonderfully snow back country.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Mt. Rose close to 700 inches

Heading down the Chutes at Mt. Rose

Hitting the Chutes at Mt. Rose.
Photo courtesy of Curle Seamus/Mt. Rose PR

Jessica VanPernis Weaver, of JVP Communications in North Lake Tahoe, commented on the total snowfall at Mt. Rose so far this season. It’s just about over the 700 inch mark. For the math challenged, that’s 57.58 feet since the snow started falling last November. It’s a record snow total for the resort.

That doesn’t mean that you’ll walk into a wall of snow that high. There’s always some snowmelt and settlement, but that number is what has been recorded up there. Awesome just mildly begins to express that number.

As a result, VanPernis Weaver said in her press release last week, “…Winter is far from over in the Northern Sierra, as another series of storms have moved through the region this week leaving another 13 inches of fresh snow on top of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe’s nearly 18-foot base, and the National Weather Service forecast calling for more snow through the weekend.”

She also said the the Rose plans to keep lifts turning through Memorial Day, May 31, 2017. That makes for a long season for anyone who skis or rides. What a difference from the last few years!

Mike Pierce, director of marketing at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe had this to say, “This season just won’t quit, and we can’t say we’re not happy about it. The conditions have been phenomenal, and by purchasing our Spring Plus pass you can ski or ride the rest of this season—with more than two months left—plus all of the 2017-18 winter season.”

This is the run down on the passes available now at Mt. Rose, from Pierce, “Valid seven days per week with no blackouts this season or next, the Spring Plus Premier Pass offers incredible value for those who want the flexibility of being able to ski any day of the season. The Spring Plus Premier Pass is available for $695 for adults ages 24+, $495 for young adults ages 16-23, and $395 for children ages 6-15. The Spring Plus Midweek Pass is valid Monday through Friday, excluding December 25-29, 2017, January 15, 2018 and February 19, 2018, and is priced at $595 for any age.”

Those season passes include passholder perks such as First Tracks daily on the Blazing Zephyr 6 chairlift, discounts on buddy tickets, lessons, on-mountain food and beverage, retail and repair.

“With more than two months of the season still ahead, and the snow as deep as it is, conditions are going to continue to be really fun. It’s not every season that we’re open for seven months of the year. This truly has been a remarkable winter,” continued Pierce.

No matter where your ski in Tahoe this year, the story is much the same. Lots of snow, an understatement of huge proportions. Extended season all over. Phenomenal conditions for everyone.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Season Extended

buried in snow SAT sign

The SAT sign at Hwy 50, buried
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

Skiing season just got extended. All that snow, and what is falling now, has added up to more than a epic fall and winter on the trails. The season has also been extended. Thea Hardy, Public Relations at Sierra-at-Tahoe, has announced that their season will run through to April 23. That’s good news for anyone who counts Sierra as home base for skiing and riding.

Sierra traditionally follows the last official day with Customer Appreciation Day. It will be on Monday, April 24, 2017. This day is dedicated to “…reminiscing about the plentiful powder days with high fives in celebration of another awesome season,” said Hardy.

Skiers and riders of all ages can purchase a lift ticket for only $35 on April 24, 2017. Lift ticket proceeds on Customer Appreciation Day will benefit youth recreation and education including baseball, soccer, swimming and other youth activities in South Lake Tahoe. Sierra-at-Tahoe is a dedicated supporter of youth sports and the South Lake Tahoe community in general.

John Rice, Sierra’s long time General Manger put it this way: “With 537 inches of natural snowfall and counting, this season has truly been one for the books. Customer Appreciation Day is all about saying thank you. We want to show our most loyal guests that we value this community and are willing to support year round recreational opportunities for our kids.”

The resort  will operate a limited number of lifts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. including Grandview Express and Easy Rider Express. All guests are invited to join John Rice and the rest of Sierra’s team for the official “last run of the season” from the top of Grandview Express beginning at 2 p.m. This last run is arguably the best run of the season. The resort staff and guests simply have a magical time heading to the base to close out the season. Last call at the Sierra Pub will be 2:45 p.m., in time for the ending of all winter operations at 3 p.m. Take advantage of a wonderful last day for this season at Sierra.

Skiing in powder at SAT

Powder day at SAT March 2017
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR

Read to ski

Groomed and ready at SAT Photo courtesy of Thea Hardy, SAT PR

Close to getting on the lift

Heading for the ride up the mountain at SAT
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR

Posted in families, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Squaw Valley World Cup

New snow at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley
Photo Courtesy of Squaw/Alpine PR/JT Connery

Liesl Kenney, Public Relations Director at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, recently sent out a press release detailing the upcoming FIS World Cup at Squaw Valley. The event takes place over four days from March 9 to 12. Those four days are filled up with skiing and other events at the resort.

This is a world class competition that draws large crowds who are intensely focused on the top skiers in the world who are competing. “Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is proud to host the Audi FIS World Cup. This marks the return of World Cup ski racing to California for the first time in 19 years. Events held will consist of a Women’s Giant Slalom on Friday, March 10 and Women’s Slalom on Saturday, March 11. Olympic champions like Mikaela Shiffrin will compete on the legendary Red Dog run, which also played host to the 1969 World Cup and 1960 Winter Olympics. For more information on the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Squaw Valley,” said Kenney.

The resort is offering quite an array of transportation opportunities for anyone who wants to attend. It’s best to take advantage of one of options available, as it will be crowded. Here is what Kenny said regarding transportation–it’s a long list:

” As the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Squaw Valley rapidly approaches with four days of events from March 9 – 12, guests and ski racing fans are encouraged to arrive early and take advantage of easy and stress-free options to get to and from the race venue at Squaw Valley. With the addition of premium bus service to and from both Truckee and Tahoe City, all Squaw Valley ground transportation will drop off and pick up at the Shuttle stop near Member’s Locker Room. The Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows App will provide transportation notifications during the World Cup events as well as World Cup information including event schedules, athlete bios, course information and real-time race results. In addition, the World Cup Transportation page will host the most up-to-date information on getting to and from the World Cup.

Premium Coach Bus Service from Truckee & Tahoe City
Guests travelling through or from Truckee and Tahoe City can park their cars and forget about driving: Premium 48-passenger Amador Stage Lines buses will run regularly between Squaw Valley and Truckee Tahoe Airport as well as between Squaw Valley and the Tahoe City Transit Center at 64 Acres, providing a comfortable ride with plenty of space for ski gear below decks. Availability will be offered on a first come, first served basis and headways will be subject to traffic conditions.

Truckee Tahoe Airport — 10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, CA 96161. Four buses will run round trip between Squaw Valley and Truckee Tahoe Airport, departing every fifteen minutes between 6am and 7am, and every half hour from 7am — 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. Parking will be available at South Lot Truckee Tahoe Airport Event Parking, adjacent to the bus pick up/drop off.

•    6:00am : 1st Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:15am : 2nd Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:30am : 3rd Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:45am : 4th Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    7:00am : Buses run a continuous roundtrip between Truckee Tahoe Airport and Squaw Valley departing each location approximately every 30 minutes
•    9:30pm : Last bus departs from Squaw Valley to Truckee Tahoe Airport

Tahoe City Transit Center — 165 West Lake Boulevard, South of Fanny Bridge and the Y, Tahoe City, CA 96145. Two buses will run round trip between the Tahoe City Transit Center and Squaw Valley every thirty minutes between 6am and 7am, and every hour from 7am — 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. Parking will be available at the Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) event overflow parking, adjacent to the bus pick up/drop off.

•    6:00am : 1st Bus departs Tahoe City Transit Center
•    6:30am : 2nd Bus departs Tahoe City Transit Center
•    7:00am : Buses run a continuous roundtrip between Tahoe City Transit Center and Squaw Valley departing each location approximately every 60 minutes
•    9:30pm : Last bus departs from Squaw Valley to Tahoe City Transit Center

POW Carpool Parking for Vehicles with 4+ Passengers
To reduce congestion on the roads, guests visiting Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows between March 9 and March 12 are encouraged to carpool to the resort and take advantage of free premium Protect Our Winters (POW) Parking for vehicles with four or more passengers: close-in parking at both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows is available on a first come, first served basis. The POW Parking program aligns with the resort’s mission to reduce its carbon footprint, raise awareness about how transportation contributes to climate change, and promote carpooling and efficient transportation within the region.

Transportation from Resort at Squaw Creek
Guests staying at the Resort at Squaw Creek will have access to the Resort at Squaw Creek Shuttle running to and from Squaw Valley every 15 minutes from 7:30am to 11pm. Additional shuttle service will be provided during the World Cup, operating 7:30am – 5:30pm on March 8 & 9 and 6:00am – 9:30 pm on March 10 & 11. As the Squaw Creek chairlift will be closed to the public March 8-11, additional round trip on-snow transportation will be offered every 15 minutes between the base station of the Squaw Creek chair and the SnoVentures Adventure Zone/Far East Express area, 7:30am – 5:30pm.

Squaw Alpine Express and SnoVentures Shuttle
The Squaw Alpine Express shuttle will run as normal between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, running between the two mountains every 20-30 minutes 8:30am – 4:30pm. The SnoVentures shuttle will run as normal between The Village at Squaw Valley (Member’s Locker Room) and SnoVentures Activity Zone, 9am-4:15pm on weekdays and 8:15am-4:15pm weekends and holidays. Click here for more information on Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows free shuttles.

Limited Additional Parking

Limited additional day-use parking will be available at Deer Park, located at the base of Alpine Meadows Road. Shuttle service will operate between Deer Park and Alpine Meadows as well as between Deer Park and Squaw Valley. Two additional shuttles will service Deer Park for service to Squaw Valley from 6am – 9:30pm on March 10 & 11.

Volunteer Parking
Volunteer Parking will be available only for vehicles with a Volunteer Parking tag at Hidden Valley, located across Highway 89 from River Ranch at the base of Alpine Meadows Road. Shuttles will service this area from 6am – 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. To apply to be a World Cup volunteer, click here.

Additional Transportation Options
•    Amtrak: Avoid traffic and take Amtrak to Truckee for your World Cup weekend. Amtrak offers a convenient and enjoyable travel option from the Bay Area, with comfortable seating as spacious as first class airline seats, outlets to charge your phone, and casual and formal dining options. Relax and enjoy the spectacular views as you wind your way up the mountain. Easily connect to the California Zephyr with daily departures from Emeryville, Richmond, Martinez and Sacramento to Truckee. From the Truckee Amtrak Station use public or private transportation to get to your final destination.
•    Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit (TART)
•    Uber and UberX
•    Tahoe Sierra Transportation — Mention World Cup for an event discount.

Lift Operations during the World Cup & Preparation
Squaw Creek and Red Dog chairlifts will be closed to the public today, Tuesday, February 28 and from Wednesday, March 8 through Saturday, March 11 for race preparation and team access. Supplemental shuttles will run between Resort at Squaw Creek and Squaw Valley on these dates.

What Not to Bring to the World Cup
The items below will not be allowed in the World Cup venue and spectators must leave any prohibited items at home. All bags are subject to search. Remember, if you are taking shuttles to and from Squaw Valley, please leave all prohibited items in your car before getting on the shuttle.

•    Weapons
•    Outside Alcohol
•    Illegal Substances and/or paraphernalia
•    Glass of any kind
•    Coolers
•    Flasks
•    Chairs
•    Laser Pointers
•    Drones
•    Only service animals will be permitted in the grandstands and bleachers
•    Tobacco permitted in designated smoking areas only ”

Make plans now for lodging and travel. You’ll want to arrive early and stay late. If you intend to stay for more than one day, book your rooms now. It’s quite a show.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Freeride World Quals at Sierra-at-Tahoe

Skier launching in Huckleberry Canyon during Huck Cup at Sierra-at-Tahoe

Huck Cup Sierra-at-Tahoe
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

Thea Hardy, Public Relations at Sierra-at-Tahoe, announced the 2d annual Freeride World Tour Qualifying at Sierra-at-Tahoe. The event will be held March 3 and 4, with all of the runs launching in the stunning Huckleberry Canyon at Sierra. It’s known throughout the ski world as the Huck Cup.

“The Freeride World Tour is a worldwide circuit of freeride skiing and snowboarding events where athletes compete on legendary and challenging terrain at the most renowned resorts around the world. The event will take place in Huckleberry Canyon, 320 acres of backcountry terrain accessed by five gates at the summit of Sierra-at-Tahoe,” according to Hardy.

“Sierra is the only Lake Tahoe resort to host a 2-Star Freeride World Qualifying event this year. The scope of the terrain in Huckleberry Canyon creates an ideal place for skiers and snowborders to compete and earn qualifying points for the Swatch Freeride World Tour” according to Hardy.

Freeride World Tour Americas Manager, Tom Winter, is enthusiastic about Sierra’s event. “Huckleberry Canyon is a great venue for a 2-Star event. It has a wide variety of lines, easy access and fantastic opportunities for spectators to watch all the action and cheer all of their friends. We’re really pleased with the partnership and this is an event that we expect will be part of the FWQ for a long, long time.” He knows the terrain and the quality of operations at Sierra.

Competitors will be vying for a $3,000 cash purse. Athletes must be licensed to compete in the Freeride World Tour and can register for the Huck Cup online here. Spectators must have a valid lift ticket to enter the viewing area. Hardy gave a shout out the sponsors of the event, Subaru, Oakley, Lake Tahoe Television, Vapur and BlackStrap Indusries Inc. who are making this event possible.

The skiers and riders who launch themselves into Huckleberry Canyon during this event put on quite a display of talent. It also gives other riders and skiers a close up look at the stunning terrain there, and what it takes to successfully carve turns there.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

More snow, rain, and ski resort events

Happy Skiers in a group

Happy Skiers!
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

First, take a look at this YouTube video. These guys are the real deal, and yes, they really did do that much skiing and boarding in the backcountry in one day. Stunning.

Snow, anyone? Rain? You’re in the right place if you are in the Sierra around Tahoe. We are looking at another 7 days of snow and rain around here. Adding to the snow pack is always good, and it is now at 194% of average for this time of year. We have a long ways to go before the snow is over.

While there have been road closures on Highways 80 and 50 and State Routes 88 and 89, as of today everything is open. The roads will most likely be clogged with cars starting sometime tomorrow and running through Monday. It’s a 3 day weekend.

In case you missed it, Sierra-at-Tahoe in partnership with The Barton Foundation in Tahoe is just about at the end of its annual Snowsports Week, which benefits local South Lake Tahoe Youth and Community efforts. According to Thea Hardy, Communications Director at Sierra,  lift tickets will be sold for $50 at over 20 locations. Proceeds will benefit The Barton Foundation, Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation, Lake Tahoe Education Foundation, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and Sierra-at-Tahoe Education Foundation.

 “Skiing and snowboarding is the heart and soul of this community,” says General Manager, John Rice. “We want to express our deepest gratitude and give back to our locals who continue to uplift the sport and are instrumental in preserving Lake Tahoe as a thriving ski destination.”

You have one day left to take advantage of this fantastic price on lift tickets.  These specially priced tickets must be purchased in advance at bartonhealth.org/snowsports or participating locations. Here’s the list:

• All Powder House locations
• Sports LTD (Village Shopping Center)
• Raley’s (Village Shopping Center)
• Powder House – Pioneer Trail
• Rainbow Mountain Sports
• The Rock House Sports
• George’s Ski & Snowboard
• Grocery Outlet
• The Ski Renter
• South Tahoe Ski and Board
• CVS at Bijou Center
• Lake Tahoe Community College Bookstore
and Foundation Office
• Knight’s Inn
• Barton Foundation
• Raley’s at the “Y”
• CVS at the “Y”
• Tahoe Paradise Chevron
• Lira’s Market
• Sunrise Ski Shop
• The Ski Renter in Strawberry (Twin Bridges)
• Strawberry Market (Twin Bridges)
• Fresh Pond Trading Post (Pollock Pines)
• Crystal View Station (Pollock Pines)
• Wine Country Chevron Station (Camino)
Credit card sales available through: Barton Foundation,
LTCC Foundation, The Ski Renter
Tickets valid only Feb. 13 -16, 2017
They will not be sold at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
No will call. 24-hour sales available
These tickets will not be sold at Sierra-at-Tahoe. While they’ve been available all week, by now each ticket is valid only for Friday, February 16, 2017. Remember, tomorrow is the last day to ski for $50. It’s the best price for a day of skiing at Sierra this year.

In other ski news, Liesl Kenney, Director of Communications at Squaw/Alpine, said that their 8th annual Kid-O-Rama extravaganza returns to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows this President’s Day weekend from February 18-25. This family-friendly resort tradition features popular events like Big Truck Day, where kids can ride along in fire trucks, snowplows, and grooming machines, live kid-friendly music, an all-kid game an craft room, a Farm to Table Dinner + Movie, a Moonlit Snowshoe Tour + Dinner and more. Click here for a full lineup of events. It’s a true child oriented event. The smiles and laughter of the children will bring joy to everyone at the resorts. Bring you camera, full battery and empty memory card–you’ll need it.

Jessica VanPernis Weaver, of JVP Communications in North Lake Tahoe, sent out word that Homewood Mountain Resort has some pretty good deals going too. According to VanPernis Weaver, “Homewood offers the best value on daily lift tickets, with prices starting as low as $49 when purchased online in advance. In addition, lift ticket 3-Packs are also available for advance purchase for $66 per day. These non-transferrable lift tickets can be used by one person any three days of the 2016-17 season with no restrictions.

For those just starting out, the resort offers a $59 first-time adult ski and snowboard package that makes it incredibly affordable to learn to ski or ride. Valid Sunday through Friday, non-holiday, this package includes a half-day lesson, all-day rental equipment and lift ticket accessing beginner terrain. The Learn to ski/ride 3-pack extends the $59 lesson package for two additional days at the same daily rate, and adds in Homewood’s Learn to ski/ride guarantee—participants will be skiing or riding down one of the resort’s signature upper mountain beginner runs by the third day or the fourth day is free.”
Keep in mind that all the skiing in the Tahoe area is on a record pace snow pack (Homewood’s count: 88 inches at the base area to 191 inches on the upper mountain), with half the snow season left. It simply hasn’t been like this since the winter of 2010-2011. Take advantage of it.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation, ski resorts, skiing

Tahoe snowpack at 191%

New snow at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley snow Jan. 2017
Photo Courtesy of Squaw/Alpine PR/JT Connery

As the snow keeping falling, the snowpack just keeps getting deeper. Overall, the snow on our part of the Sierra is at 173% of normal. Tahoe’s is at a whopping 193%. With February and March typically adding to the count, this could be one of those years that will be talked about for a long time.

The resorts are keeping busy just staying open. When the storms are too rowdy, too much wind coupled with a heavy snowfall, they either shut down or curtail operations. Not only that, the sheer volume of snow presents issues. John Rice, longtime General Manager at Sierra-at-Tahoe said it quite well: “There’s a point where you start running out of places to push the snow.” It really does become a problem. The time and equipment needed to keep the parking lots and the lodge areas clear of snow is significant.

Any of the resorts that have to clear the roads leading into their area have a fairly big job on their hands. When CalTrans, Nevada DOT, or the county is doing the work the resorts concentrate on other things. When the resorts are doing it, the big pieces of snow removal equipment put in a lot of hours so that skiers can get to their trails.  It’s a good problem to have, although it is an expensive and time-consuming one. Better this than the drought.

Backcountry skiers, riders, and snowshoer’s have different issues to deal with. The biggest one is avalanche danger. The Sierra Avalanche Center issues its observations every day by 7:00 a.m. Anytime the advisory is above “low”, the backcountry terrain is at heightened danger for either skier caused or natural avalanches. Anyone who ventures out into the high backcountry absolutely needs to check the Sierra Avalanche Center for current information before heading out.

For daily information about all the resorts in our part of the Sierra, Curtis Fong’s Bike and Ski Tahoe is the best site for up to date info at all of them. With this much snow the season is likely to extend well into spring. Squaw Valley typically earns bragging rights for staying open longer than anyone else.

This year may be quite a contest. One of the catch 22’s is that even with great spring skiing, once the sun pops out in the valley and Bay Area, thoughts of skiing start to take a back seat to other outdoor opportunities. Still, for skiing and riding fanatics, no season is ever long enough.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Snow and lot of it


Snowmegedon at Mt. Rose Photo courtesy of Mt. Rose PR

Recent storms made for a stunning 3 day weekend at area resorts over the MLK holiday. Added to that is this next series of storms that are again adding multiple feet to the Sierra snowpack. The new snows at the resorts are topping 10 or more feet. By the end of this series of storms, that’s like to move to well over 15 feet of new snow.

Along with the additional snow, the resorts have been dealing with wind and avalanche conditions. The resorts shut down when the storms bring big winds and white out conditions. Avalanche dangers have to be mitigated. The highways also shut down. All in all though these storms are welcomed all around.

Before heading up to your favorite resort, check the CalTrans site for road conditions first. Next up is the resorts website to find out if they are open, and if so, what runs are available. Make sure that you know what to expect when you head out.

The most busy times are weekends, with holiday weekends taking the prize for most crowded. Weekdays tend to be less busy, but with this years snows, that may not always be the case.

Enjoy this new snow. Powder days are here, and winter is giving us all exactly what we’ve been hoping for. Take your time driving to your favorite resort. Pay attention to the conditions and cautions once you get there.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow